December 8, 2003

etriganLifeWDYLIA Episode 4 - BNAT5

WDYLIA Episode 4 is brought to you by the letters AICN and the Alamo Drafthouse — Thanks, Harry and Tim-n-Carrie!

BNAT5 was possibly the best way to spend 26 hours without sleep — book-ended by the most awesome premieres I have ever attended. (Although seeing Gordon Liu for the Kill Bill Vol. 1 premiere here in Austin was hard to displace.)

Here’s a list of the things we saw with brief reviews/descriptions which I hope to expound on later.

  • Haunted Gold with John Wayne as a girlie-fightin’ ranch owner reclaiming his stake in an abandon mine. Nice to see John Wayne’s early work but the racist remarks (somewhat understandable in a 1932 film but still utterly unacceptable) garnered a lot of boos and hisses from the crowd.
  • Return of Captain Marvel (originally titled “Adventures of Captain Marvel”) is a 1942 series — you know they used to show them before movies — about…well, Shazam and all that. It was a trick, though, because, Harry told us we’d see the whole series but he cut it near the end of the first episode and started:
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was awesome! The only thing the movie suffers from is the same thing the book suffers from: once the climax is reached there’s still a lot of content to go. Even more awesome than the film was that Harry blessed us with:
  • Live In-person Q&A with Peter Jackson, Frances Walsh and Philippa Boyens - a chance to chat with all three of them was once-in-a-lifetime. I can only hope they enjoyed it as much as we all did. It was something I thought couldn’t be topped and a great way to start our journey. After the Q&A Harry arranged a great print for PJ and company to enjoy with us…
  • The General with Buster Keaton and a live soundtrack from Guy Forsyth - unquestionably one of my most memorable events at the Drafthouse many years ago and it definitely holds up to a second viewing. Even without the genius of Guy Forsyth, Buster Keaton blows every comedic actor away in this simply hilarious silent film.
  • Oldboy from Chan Wook Park who apparently has a thing about revenge — this writer/director’s earlier notable film is Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance . This is an amazing but incredibly disturbing film that takes revenge beyond anything you’ve even thought of.
  • Trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - (this may be listed out of order, but we got to see it three times over the night) I’m still up in the air on my prediction for the quality of this upcoming film, but the trailer looks pretty damn cool, and Harry snagging it fresh from the lab was one more gift under our BNAT tree. You should see it attached to Return of the King.
  • The Nest - Every time Harry mentions the number of times he’s seen this french flick it grows. Saturday night it was 40, now he says 60 on his website. It is a pretty cool action/adventure ala The Italian Job, where a group of professional thieves intersect with a special forces army trying to rescue their former leader who is being escorted to his war crimes tribunal. It’s a little complicated, but it’s a great form for the genre. I just hope the US remake (of this remake of a remake) that’s been optioned is close to as good.
  • Ginger Snaps: Unleashed - this is a sequel to a Canadian STV release — now a small cult hit — that adds a twist to the whole werewolf story. The sequel involves the sister of the girl in the original trying to stave off the werewolf thing herself. The twist at the end is super unexpected, but this film is probably only for genre lovers.
  • Anchorman excerpt - (this may be out of order, too) Harry got a recently finished scene from the cutting room of Will Ferrel’s next film and it was hilarious! Kudos to Christina Applegate for scoring a role in it — her comedic chops have been underused.
  • Haute Tension is a horror film that genre enthusiasts who want more accurate special effects will love. Otherwise, the story is pretty transparent and the surprise twists don’t surprise.
  • Teenage Mother is a 1968 exploitation movie that for 90% of the film seems like your run-of-the-mill mid-60’s “don’t have sex or tell lies, but sex education is a good thing” film…then it cuts to a clinical film of a live birth using forceps. o…m…g… It was hard to sit through it this late in the game — as Harry tends to do in the wee hours — but then the last bit woke us up. (Oh! Fred Willard has a small role in it!)
  • Undead - this Aussie zombie movie was well-made, but a little cheesy — as you’d expect from a zombie movie — and it had an interesting twist.
  • “The Passion of The Christ”: - shocked to see that title there? We were all utterly amazed when Harry announced it. It would have been hard to top a visit from PJ and the gang at the top of the event, but Harry did it. There are already reviews at AICN from Nordling, Ravvy and a Catholic and an Atheist if you want to skip to full-on review mode. I will do a full review later, but for now I’ll quote Nordling and say “This is an Important Film. Possible the first real Important Film of the 21st Century.” Harry topped this topper even further with:
  • Live In-person Q&A with Mel Gibson - It was so gracious for Mel to stop in Austin and let us sleep-deprived geeks fawn over this amazing work of art. I hope in some small way he benefits from the visit (and I hope I can remember enough of what he said to include it in my review.)

That’s the best of my memory. Again, thanks Harry! I hope your birthday was as great for you as you made it for us.

Posted by etrigan at December 8, 2003 8:58 PM
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